Thursday, December 3, 2009

CHASE Doesn't get it

Have you noticed the CHASE commercial where the wife walks in looking terrific and the husband says, "Hey, let's use our rewards to take a trip."

She replies, "we can't."

Not getting it, the husband says, "Sure we can, the points don't expire and you can use them on whatever you want."

She then preens like a proud cat and with a sly smile says, "I know."

The lights finally go on when the husband realizes she used the points on a designer dress. He gives her an admiring smile.

Okay, so in what world would a husband give a dumb smile when he realized his wife just spent all their reward dollars on a dress? Certainly not mine. I would NEVER hear the end of that one.

Putting that fantasy aside, I have to ask if CHASE is aware of the state of our economy and of the average consumer? Do the marketing executives at CHASE have any clue that the unemployment rate was at 10.2% across the U.S. in October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor? They certainly must be aware of the flood of foreclosures and bankruptcies sweeping across the nation.

It seems fairly obvious that if you want to encourage consumers to start spending again, telling them to indulge on luxury items is not the place to start.

A recent study by Kelton Market Research shows that 114 million consumers are more cautious about their spending and are cutting back. They are sacrificing on a smaller budget and trying out new brands they might not have considered before. To attract this majority of today's consumers, marketers need to communicate about the value of and necessity for the products they are selling. They need to create a need for their product in the prospect's mind and eliminate the potential guilt of unnecessary spending.

It may be that CHASE wants to reach a more affluent audience who is not phased by the recession. Nevertheless, this campaign is most likely alienating a large number of account holders in the process.  Marketers and advertisers should review their current campaigns and consider if the message is still relevant in today's climate and economy. Marketers must consider the implications the chosen message or campaign may have on all audiences who are exposed to it.

Considering how American's attitudes towards credit has soured in the past few years, CHASE is not doing itself any favors with this current campaign.